Christmas

Christmas Eve Day 2018: Small Christmas Miracle?

Yesterday…

I’ve been feeling pretty melancholy lately. 🙁

No need to enumerate the reasons.

They’re numerous – & some of them, a little on the heart-rending side.

But after all, why go there?

Knowing this, that what we focus on expands.

So I went out for a walk.

My main piece of life advice?

Go for a walk.

Sad?

Go for a walk.

Lonely?

Go for a walk.

Mad?

Go for a walk.

Happy?

Go for a walk.

In other words, whatever the heck you’ve got going on, people

#GoForAWalkAlready

Walking is magical/miraculous/transformative, even (the latter especially if you make it a regular practice).

I was feeling grinchly / grunchly / a little hard-done-by (maybe even a lot)

& now, I am transformed!

I walked along (thinking grinchy thoughts for the first while), then a gift idea for a friend sprang into my mind – the perfect idea, actually! (Why did it take me so long to remember she’s crazy about my chocolate chip cookies?? Easy enough for me to bake a batch, later today…)

I spoke in a friendly way to a stranger on the street (how this happened: I was on my own way to the library. Spotted a fellow walking up the street, carrying 4 or 5 books. Said to him “Enjoy your books!” & that made me feel good. Human contact, you know? Sometimes it’s good.)

I feel resurrected!

Christmas is always NOT my favourite time of year.

I have my reasons.

For me, it’s maybe a bit like slogging through a gymnasium flooded with molasses.

One painful, effort-ful step after another.

So. Much. Effort

#NotMyFinestHour

You understand?

But, we DO do life one day at a time, do we not??

I sure managed to transform this one easily!

#JustWentForAWalk

Happy holidays, everyone!

Janet

p.s. a little gratitude never hurts either, of course. We do NOT focus on what is lost. Or wrong. We focus on what we have, on what is good. Even if today, it’s just that the cat just barfed on a bare floor, as opposed to on the carpet. Yes. 🙂

There is always something to be grateful for! The more we practice gratitude actively, the more we find to be grateful for. This!

“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Albert Clarke, quoted in Speak Peace in a World of Conflict – What You Say Next Will Change Your World, by Marshall B. Rosenberg *** more quotations about gratitude here

p.p.s. you won’t even believe what happened after I wrote this! (Which I did, btw, partway along in my walk. At the library, I’d stopped & sat down long enough to draft this.) THEN – I headed out to continue my walk. Was going to head down to the lake & walk some more along the Boardwalk. Began heading down. Smelled cinnamon in the air. Thought, “Whoa. Where is that cinnamon smell coming from? That bakery that’s near here?” & went along to the bakery a block away. Walked in the door. Whoa; what a line-up!!! Never seen the place so crowded! (Well hey, it’s December 24th, right?) I get up to the counter, & say to the girl behind it,

“Well this is kind of crazy. I wasn’t planning to come here, but I smelled cinnamon. & there are so many people in here right now, I can’t even see the display case to tell you what I want! Do you have cinnamon buns??” & she says “Yes.” & goes & gets me one (& they’re big mothers!) Puts it in a little box. I ask her to tape the box shut so I can put it in my knapsack. She is standing by the cash register, & there are so many staffers back there, & it’s so darn busy, she can’t get her turn at the register to ring up my purchase. (I did mention it was busy in there, yes?) So after a bit, then, she says “Call it a Christmas miracle!” & hands me the box. A honking big cinnamon bun – for free! Another pleasant human exchange with a stranger. 🙂

May whatever spirits there are, around us & in us, bless us all in these so-very-challenging times.

& may we all use our own voices – for our own good, & that of so many others.

p.p.p.s. lots of quotes & postings about walking here.

Nothing Much To Say…

So.

Although I am a writer by temperament … meaning I’m always either writing something, or wanting to write something (or 5 or 10 or 20 things; yeah…)

& although I’m still scribbling odds & ends pretty regularly, I’m posting very little, ‘cos most of what’s going on

(for me & perhaps many others?)

is a little on the dark & dismal side …you know??


The state of things on our (still-lovely, now so-badly-damaged) planet is … well ...

Pretty bloody sobering.

(Since I drafted this, Hurricane Florence happened. & other sundry scary climate stuff in various places. & a few days ago, tornadoes did major devastation outside Ottawa. Climate impacts are … well, damn sobering. Hmmmm. Did I already mention sobering??)

  • Climate change on steroids (whether or not you “believe in” it, or its being human-caused)

  • Right-wing bozo politicians (some of them as dumb as a bag of hammers, or hell, dumber) running amok at home & abroad &, well, everywhere, seemingly

  • Human lies & corruption & nonsense running at a fever pitch, pretty much, everywhere we turn – seemingly, also.

End of world cartoon.jpg


Geez … eh??

What can I possibly say that doesn’t just add to the cacophony??

I personally have been writing about & acting to try & change the world for decades (in my earliest days of activism, to “save the planet” – though that lofty, unattainable goal bit the dust quite some years back now)

** & I’m not saying I regret any of these efforts, btw.

I don’t.

A person has gotta do what she’s gotta do … right?

It’s just that, at this stage of the game, I’m unable to remain super-passionate about all the things I used to feel so very-very passionate about.

Truth? I think our species is on its last legs.

What a funny expression! We are not centipedes, we humans, after all. & thank goddess for that!

I have almost daily encounters with these ugly brutes (for some reason they appear to be thriving in the apartment building we share with one another), & they are UGGGGGGH-ly. Well, to me, anyway.

Although come to think of it, they have NOT been responsible for over-running a perfectly beautiful & abundant planet, & trashing it to smithereens – so, there is that… 🙂



Well. I do kind of go around in circles when I try to figure out what to do (& write) in these so-challenging times.

& I always seem to come back around to this:

The times are insane.

People (many people) seem increasingly insane, off-kilter, angry, obnoxious (admittedly, I must count myself in this; I am no saint, after all; merely human, like all of us). I am breathing the same air, subject to the very same palpable, visceral ramping insanity, & like all of us, have both my good & bad moments, of course…

Pema on Chaos.jpg

So, that being the case

I must just do my best to be a friendly, helpful presence as I make my way about in the world.

Small deeds of kindness-Gandalf.jpg


Continue to do things I believe are meaningful & worthwhile (& that seem to make sense).

& also, try to lighten up on others (& myself) as much as possible.


Un-lofty, perhaps

but reasonable

goals, I think


in these challenging, challenging, oh-so-challenging times.


Janet


p.s. & keep on making batches of soup. Ahhhh, soup…. Just made a double batch. 🙂 🙂 My best recipes are in the Collections posting!!

p.p.s. & yes, remain ever-grateful for … well … so very many things!

Gratitude is STILL magical!

p.p.p.s. & also, grief is real. These are pretty grief-y times, after all. There are quite a few postings about grief in the Collections posting.

Quote for today:

Hmmmm, well, how’s about this one? It’s an old favourite:

“I do not want to talk about what you understand about this world. I want to know what you will do about it. I do not want to know what you hope. I want to know what you will work for. I do not want your sympathy for the needs of humanity. I want your muscle.” ~ Robert Fulghum

RELAX - nothing is under control.jpg
Gandalf & Frodo.jpg

Myths that don’t serve us … & what to do now?

Myths

1.     Money buys happiness. Things buy happiness. We can buy our way to happiness. Do I really need to say anything more here?? Surely everyone knows long since that these are the myths of the millennium???

2.    Love will last forever. Well. Maybe nobody really buys that one anymore. Or, well, not for long…

3.    “It can’t happen here.” You know. A nuclear disaster. A family disaster. A divorce in your wonderful perfect family. A horrible illness. Whatever. (It can always happen here.)

4.    The system will look after us. Ha! You kidding me?? Only if we’re in the 1%. And you know what? Not even then. The Earth’s air/water/earth/food/ozone layer are now so badly damaged – climate change ramping up at every turn – not even the rich & powerful can run from it. If you can’t grow the food you need to feed you, & if the climate is going to become unpredictable enough that we can no longer grow food (which seems about 100% inevitable, now) – how can even the rich survive?? Humans gotta eat. (& if the ozone layer is finally totally destroyed, life outside the oceans will not survive. That’s just biology. & the oceans are all messed up. Sadly. Yeah. Really, really badly. We did that.)

5.    We can “save the planet.” “Save the humans.” Well, um, I think it’s (long) past that point. Make peace with that. (& sure, it sucks. Be sad! Grieve it. Nothing wrong with that! Lotta posts about grief on this blog, all listed in this posting. & listen, about grief. I think we're ALL grieving. Lots of us just don't know it. Instead, we're angry, or numb. The grief is underneath. How could this not be so??)

6.    “Something” or “Somebody” will save us. The government. God. Big Brother. Mom & Pop. The “health” care system. Well. I wouldn’t hold my breath on any one of those agencies/deities/people stepping up to the plate, even if they exist (I personally do not believe in a deity, & I have zero faith in governments/bureaucracies/corporations/the “health care” system). I think we’re on our own. I think we gotta grow up, people. I think we gotta get real.

7.    It can’t get any worse. Well. I think we can all feel in our bones the un-truth of that one. I think many of us can feel viscerally that it can get worse, that it is getting worse. By the day, pretty much.

 

So. What Now, then?

  • Squawk

  • Protest

  • Speak up

  • Make noise

  • Be kind

  • Be generous

  • Quit bitching; start a revolution (saw this on a T-shirt, & love it!)

  • Get help, if you need it. Ask for help, if you need it. Offer help, when & where you can.

  • Learn

  • Talk

  • Make a difference

  • Realize that any privilege/s you have are just that. Privileges. Give thanks ... & give back!

  • Learn to be nimble on your feet

  • Live in the moment

  • Haul your head out of your own arse

  • Haul your head out of your damn phone (we need community, people! Community is not found inside a computer or a “smart” phone. We need to be smart for ourselves; damn the damn phones!?)

  • Build good memories. Be grateful for the ones you already have!

  • Walk.

  • Read!

  • Say “thank you!” a lot. To everyone, everything. People, the trees, the sky; you know … everything! Gratitude really saves our asses!!

  • DON’T “count every penny.” Yech. Definitely, definitely NOT. Be charitably generous. Please!

  • Love yourself. Forgive yourself. (Only that way can you love & forgive others)

  • Be friendly! (& also mindful of when to keep your distance)

  • Be open to small things giving you jolts of joy, after which you can cheerfully say “Well, THAT sure made my day!!” (or tell the person who just made your day, that they just made your day!.That will very likely make THEIR day!)

  • Have long, rambling conversations with people you know & care about, &/or with strangers who are open to long, rambling conversations. Conversation is AWEsome.

  • Laugh as much as humanly possible.

  • Cry sometimes too. We all need that.

  • Don’t be afraid of “making an ass of yourself.”

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up!

  • Learn to value circles, not hierarchies & hatreds.

#We Are Still Here!

Let’s make use of ourselves for as long as we’re here!

p.s. this!

“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forbears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy

& this

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark  

“Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.” – Carl Sagan (I found it here)